Substance Abuse Recovery in the LGBTQ Community
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Despite ongoing efforts to banish bullying of people who are part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) reports that people who identify with the group face social stigma, discrimination, and other challenges more often than people who are heterosexual. The NIH says this group not only faces a greater risk of harrassment and violence but also runs an increase risk for various behavioral health issues, including addiction. In fact, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) reports that teenaged lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders are two times more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol than their straight peers.
Despite statistics, few drug and alcohol treatment programs specifically servce this community. Some falsely advertise the inclusion of specialized treatment programs for LGBTQ people. In fact, of the 854 U.S. treatment programs that advertise such services, only 62 confirmed they actually exist. This means that about 70 percent of the addiction treatment services noted as specialized for LGBTQ people were identical to those provided for non-LGBTQ people. MFI creates personalized treatment programs for every client in our inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. Our intake process is designed to make sure clients feel comfortable sharing as little (or as much) about their own journey as they wish. We encourage transparency, not just about sexual orientation, but about anything and everything that could play a role in establishing and feeding addiction.
In many cases, tragically, addicted LGBTQ individuals indefinitely postpone treatment or opt not to disclose their sexual orientation during rehab. They make these choices out of fear that counselors and other clients could treat them with hostility or indifference. Their concerns about potentially encountering stigma, intolerance and open discrimination are understandable, since persecution among the general public is common. However, addicted LGBTQ people need not fear such encounters at MFI. Although we can't guarantee that every person who enters our doors will agree with their every decision, at MFI, respect is not optional.
Our LGBTQ-friendly staff encourage clients to rally around and support each other. This creates a sense of family at every MFI facility which often continues long after clients finish their treatment programs. As current alumni will attest, no matter your sex, age, race, cultural background, income bracket, religion, or sexual orientation, at MFI, you are family. In fact, the acronym for our recovery center says it all: MFI stands for "My Family Incorporated."